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MARJORIE 
L. C. PICKTHALL 

THE DRIFT OF 
PINIONS 

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THE DRIFT OF PINIONS 



THE DRIFT OF PINIONS BY 
MARJORIE L.C. PICKTHALL 





THE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE 
MONTREAL 

1913 

LONDON : JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD 
NEW YORK : JOHN LANE COMPANY 



- 



PS 



co-p.2 



COPYRIGHT, CANADA, 1913 
BY MARJORIE L. C. PICKTHAU, 



Many of the poems contained in this book have 
been published in various periodicals. My thanks 
are due to the editors of The University, Scribner's, 
Harpers, The Century, The American, and the 
Metropolitan Magazines, The Atlantic Monthly, 
and The Youth's Companion, for permission to offer 
this verse in its present form. 

M. L. C. P. 

Victoria College, Toronto, 
September, 1913. 



IN MEMORY OF 
MY MOTHER 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

ARMOREL 3 

THE LITTLE FAUNS TO PROSERPINE 5 

WANDERLIED 8 

TO ALCITHOE .... .10 

THE SEA WITCH 11 

THE IMMORTAL 12 

DAWN 13 

EVENING 16 

THE GREEN MONTH . . . . 18 

SONG OF LATE SEPTEMBER . . 19 

FROST SONG 21 

DREAM RIVER 22 

SWALLOWS . . . . . . 23 

THE POOL 34 

O SILVER ROSE 26 

THE BRIDEGROOM OF CANA . . 27 

A MOTHER IN EGYPT ... . 30 

ST. YVES' POOR . . . . 34 
THE LITTLE SISTER OF THE 

PROPHET 38 

PIETER MARINUS . . . . 40 

THE LAMP OF POOR SOULS . . 42 

IN THE GARDENS OF SHUSHAN . 44 

vii 



CONTENTS 

PACK 

PERE LALEMANT 46 

BEGA .49 

IN A MONASTERY GARDEN . . 51 

A CHILD'S SONG . . . . . 53 

A CHILD'S SONG OF CHRISTMAS . 54 

YOUTH'S END . . ....;. . 55 

JASPER'S SONG 56 

THE HILLMAN'S LASS .... 58 

THE SHEPHERD BOY .... 60 

DUNA 62 

MY FATHER HE WAS A FISHERMAN 63 

JENNIFER'S LAD 64 

THREE ISLAND SONGS .... 65 

SERENADE 68 

THE LOVERS OF MARCHAID . . 69 

THE HOUSE'S SETTING ... 72 

DEUS MISEREATUR .... 73 

FAME .... ... 74 

KWANNON . . . * . , . 76 

MONS ANGELORUM .... 79 

A SAXON EPITAPH . 93 




THE DRIFT OF PINIONS 
MARJORIE L. C. PICKTHALL 



ARMOREL 




HEN within the rippling tide 

Shakes the silver-pointed moon, 
When the rainbow flies of noon 

All have died, 
When the bats go wheeling far, 
And the mournful owl has cried 
Twice or thrice a-down the glen 
Gray with gathering shade, and when 
Gates o' dream are held ajar, 
From the alders in the dell, 
From the bracken fronds astir, 
Elfin voices call to her, 

"Armorel ! " 

She shall glide the garden down, 
Treading softly, treading slow, 
And with silent feet shall go 
Past the Mary-lilies white, 
Past the pansies, gold and brown, 
Grown for her delight. 



One white moth her guide shall be, 
She shall follow where he flies, 
Patiently, with dream-lit eyes; 
Past the thyme and savoury, 
Past the mystic asphodel, 
For the voices in her ear 
Call her softly, call her clear, 
"Armorel!" 

Into valleys strange and dim, 
All unseen and all unknown, 
Fleetly shall she follow him, 
Fairy-led, alone. 
She shall hear within the brake 
Elfin crickets pipe and sing, 
While the elfin spiders make 
Sendal for her furnishing, 
Red as pimpernel. 
She shall see the dreams go by, 
Silver-pinioned, through the sky ; 
Where she wanders none may tell, 
But the voices come and go, 
Calling sweetly, calling low, 
''Armorel!" 



THE LITTLE FAUNS TO 
PROSERPINE 

BROWNER than the hazel-husk, swifter 
than the wind, 
Though you turn from heath and hill, we 

are hard behind, 
Singing, "Ere the sorrows rise, ere the gates 

unclose 

Bind above your wistful eyes the memory 
of a rose. ' ' 



Dark lacchus pipes the kine shivering from 

the whin, 
Wraps him in a she-goat's fell above the 

panther skin. 
Now we husk the corn for bread, turn the 

mill for hire, 
Hoof by hoof and head by head about the 

herdsman's fire. 

Ai, Adonis, where he gleams, slender and 

at rest, 
One has built a roof of dreams where the 

white doves nest. 
Ere they bring the wine-dark bowl, ere the 

gates unbar, 
Take, O take within your soul the shadow 

of a star. 

5 



Now the vintage feast is done, now the 

melons glow 
Gold along the raftered thatch beneath a 

thread of snow. 
Dian's bugle bids the dawn sweep the 

upland clear, 
Where we snared the silken fawn, where we 

ran the deer. 

Through the dark reeds wet with rain, past 

the singing foam 
Went the light-foot Mysian maids, calling 

Hylas home. 
Syrinx felt the silver spell fold her at her 

need. 
Hear, ere yet you say farewell, the wind 

along the reed. 

Golden as the earliest leaf loosened from the 

spray, 
Grave Alcestis drank of grief for her lord's 

delay. 
Ere you choose the bitter part, learn the 

changeless wrong, 
Bind above your breaking heart the echo of 

a song. 



Now the chestnut burrs are down ; aspen- 

shaws are pale ; 
Now across the plunging reef reels the last 

red sail. 
Ere the wild, black horses cry, ere the night 

has birth, 
Take, ere yet you say good-bye, the love of 

all the earth. 



WANDERUED 

OWEST of all the westward roads that 
J woo ye to their winding, 
O, south of all the southward ways that call 

ye to the sea, 
There's a little lonely garden that would 

pay ye for the finding, 

With a fairy-ring within it and an old thorn 
tree. 

O, there upon the brink of morn the 

thrushes would be calling, 
And the little lilting linnets, sure they'd 

wake me from the dead ; 
With the lime trees all in blossom and the 

soft leaf-shadows falling, 
O, there I'd have a place at last to lay my 

head. 

O, would I had a swallow's wings, for then 

I'd fly and find it ; 
O, would I had a swallow's heart, for then 

I'd love to roam ! 
With an orchard on the hillside and an old, 

old man to mind it, 
O, there I'd lift my lodge at last and make 

my home. 

8 



O, there I'd see the tide come in along the 

whispering reaches, 
O, there I'd lie and watch the sails go 

shining to the west. 
And where the fir-wood follows on the wide 

unswerving beaches, 
It's there I'd lay me down at last and take 

my rest. 



TO ALCITHOE 

IN your dim Greece of old, Alcithoe, 
Death like a lover sought and crowned 

you young, 
Between the olive orchards and the sea. 

When they had twined your myrtle -buds, 

and hung 

The stately cypress at your door, they said, 
' 'Alcithoe is dead, 

Before whose feet the flaming crocus sprung, 
For whom the red rose opened ere the prime; 
Those the gods love are taken before their 

time." 

Ah! why did no one, watching you alone, 
Snare your dead beauty in undying stone ? 
The gold hair bound beneath its golden 

band, 
The milk-white poppies closed within your 

hand; 
That the harsh world a little space might 

keep 
The last, still, exquisite vision of your sleep. 



10 



THE SEA WITCH 

ENDLESSLY fell her chestnut flowers, 
Faint snow throughout the honeyed 
dark ; 

The myrtle spread his boughs to drink 
Deep draughts of salt from the sea's brink, 
And like a moon-dial swung her tower's 
Straight shadow o'er her warded park. 

From her calm coasts the galleons fled, 

The fisher steered him further west, 

No port was hailed, no keel came home 

Across that pale, enchanted foam, 

But by her roof the thrushes fed 

And wandering swallows found their rest. 

The shadows touched her tenderly, 
The red beam lingered on her dress; 
The white gull and the osprey knew 
Her tower across the leagues of blue. 
The wild swan when he sought the sea 
Was laggard through her loveliness. 



ii 



THE IMMORTAL 

BEAUTY is still immortal in our 
When sways no more the spirit-haunted 

reed, 

When the wild grape shall build 
No more her canopies, 
When blows no more the moon-gray thistle 

seed, 
When the last bell has lulled the white 

flocks home, 

When the last eve has stilled 
The wandering wing and touched the dying 

foam, 
When the last moon burns low, and, spark 

by spark, 
The little worlds die out along the dark, 

Beauty that rosed the moth-wing, touched 

the land 

With clover-horns and delicate faint flowers, 
Beaut}" that bade the showers 
Beat on the violet's face, 
Shall hold the eternal heavens within their 

place 
And hear new stars come singing from God's 

hand. 



12 



DAWN 

OKEEP the world forever at the dawn, 
Ere yet the opals, cobweb-strung, 

have dried, 
Ere yet too bounteous gifts have marred the 

morn 

Or fading stars have died. 
O, keep the eastern gold no wider than 
An angel's finger-span, 

And hush the increasing thunder of the sea 
To murmuring melodj^ 
In those fair coves where tempests ne'er 

should be. 

Hold back the line of shoreward-sweeping 

surge 

And veil each deep sea-pool in pearlier mist, 
Ere yet the silver ripples on the verge 
Have turned to amethyst. 
Fling back the chariot of encroaching day 
And call the winds away 
Ere yet they sigh, and let the hastening sun 
Along his path in heaven no higher run, 
But show through all the years his golden 

rim 

With shadows lingering dim 
Forever o'er the world awaiting him. 



Hold every bird with still and drowsy wing, 

That in the breathless hush no clamorous 
throat 

Shall break the peace that hangs on every- 
thing 

With shrill awakening note; 

Keep fast the half-seen beauties of the rose 

In undisturbed repose, 

Check all the iris buds where the}' unfold 

Impatient from their hold, 

And close the cowslips' cups of honeyed 
gold. 

Keep all things hushed, so hushed we seem 

to hear 
The sounds of low-swung clouds that sweep 

the trees; 

Let now no harsher music reach the ear, 
No earthlier sounds than these, 
When whispering shadows move within the 

grass, 

And airy tremors pass 
Through all the earth with life awakening 

thrilled, 

And so forever stilled, 
Too sweet in promise e'er to be fulfilled. 



O keep the world forever at the dawn, 
Yet, keeping so, let nothing lifeless seem, 
But hushed, as if the miracle of morn 
Were trembling in its dream. 
Some shadowy moth may pass with downy 

flight 

And fade before the sight, 
While in the unlightened darkness of the 

wall 

The chirping crickets call; 
From forest pools where fragrant lilies are 
A breath shall pass afar, 
And o'er the crested pine shall hang one 

star. 



EVENING 

WHEN the white iris folds the drows- 
ing bee, 

When the first cricket wakes 
The fairy hosts of his enchanted brakes, 
When the dark moth has sought the lilac 

tree, 
And the young stars, like jasmine of the 

skies, 

Are opening on the silence, Lord, there lies 
Dew on Thy rose and dream upon mine eyes. 



lyOvely the day, when life is robed in splen- 
dour, 

Walking the ways of God and strong with 
wine, 

But the pale eve is wonderful and tender, 

And night is more divine. 

Fold my faint olives from their shimmering 
plain, 

O shadow of sweet darkness fringed with 
rain. 

Give me to night again. 



16 



Give ine to day no more. I have bethought 

me 
Silence is more than laughter, sleep than 

tears. 

Sleep like a lover faithfully hath sought me 
Down the enduring years. 
Where stray the first white fallings of the 

fold, 

Where the Lent-lily droops her earlier gold 
Sleep waits me as of old. 

Grant me sweet sleep, for light is unavailing 
When patient eyes grow weary of the day. 
Young lambs creep close and tender wings 

are failing, 

And I grow tired as they. 
Light as the long wave leaves the lonely 

shore, 
Our boughs have lost the bloom that 

morning bore. 
Give me to day no more. 



THE GREEN MONTH 

WHAT of all the colours shall I bring 
you for your fairing, 
Fit to lay your fingers on, fine enough for 

you? 
Yellow for the ripened rye, white for ladies' 

wearing, 
Red for briar-roses, or the skies' own blue ? 

Nay, for spring has touched the elm, spring 

has found the willow, 
Winds that call the swallow home sway the 

boughs apart ; 
Green shall all my curtains be, green shall 

be my pillow, 
Green I'll wear within my hair, and green 

upon my heart. 



18 



SONG OF LATE SEPTEMBER 

IN this irised net I keep 
All the moth-winged winds of sleep, 
In this basket woven of willow 
I have silk-weed for your pillow. 
In this pouch of plaited reeds 
Stars I bear fqr silver beads. 
Choose my pippins for your money, 
Reddening pears as smooth as honey, 
Golden grapes and apricots, 
Herbs from well-grown garden plots ; 
Basil, balm, and savoury, 
All sweet-smelling things there be, 
Fruits a many and flowers a few, 
Fiery dahlias drooped in dew r , 
Wood-grown asters faint as smoke, 
Flame of maple, frond of oak. 

In this box of foreign woods 
I have delicate woven goods ; 
Orient laces light as mist, 
Amber veils and amethyst, 
Ivory pins like hardened milk, 
Cloaks of silver-shining silk 
Wrought with strange embroideries 
Of peacock plumes and rose-berries. 
Buy a king's crown lost of old, 



Dark with sardius sunk in gold. 
Buy my gloves of spiders spun, 
Cool as water, warm as sun ; 
Buy my shoon of yellow leathers 
Lined with fur and owlet feathers 
Buy a chain of emerald stones 
Or scarlet seeds or cedar cones. 
All sweet, delicate things there be 
Honest folk may buy of me. 
Ere the earliest thrush has flown 
In my eyes the dawns are shown. 
On my lips the summer lingers, 
Rain has jewelled all my fingers ; 
In my hand the crickets sing, 
And the moon ' s my golden ring. 



20 



FROST SONG 

HERE where the bee slept and the orchis 
lifted 

Her honeying pipes of pearl, her velvet lip, 
Only the swart leaves of the oak lie drifted 
In sombre fellowship. 
Here where the flame-weed set the lands 

alight, 

Lies the bleak upland, webbed and crowned 
with white. 

Build high the logs, O love, and in thine 

63^68 

Let me believe the summer lingers late. 
We shall not miss her passive pageantries, 
We are not desolate, 

When on the sill, across the window bars, 
Kind winter flings her flowers and her stars. 



21 



DREAM RIVER 

WIND-SILVERED willows hedge the 
stream, 

And all within is hushed and cool. 
The water, in an endless dream, 
Goes sliding down from pool to pool. 
And every pool a sapphire is, 
From shadowy deep to sunlit edge, 
Ribboned around with irises 
And cleft with emerald spears of sedge. 

O, everj r morn the winds are stilled, 
The sunlight falls in amber bars. 
O, every night the pools are filled 
With silver brede of shaken stars. 
O, every morn the sparrow flings 
His elfin trills athwart the hush, 
And here unseen at eve there sings 
One crvstal- throated hermit-thrush. 



22 



SWALLOWS 

O LITTLE hearts, beat home, beat home. 
Here is no place to rest. 
Night darkens on the falling foam 
And on the fading west. 
O little wings, beat home, beat home. 
Love ma}- no longer roam. 

O, Love has touched the fields of wheat 
And Love has crowned the corn, 
And we must follow Love's white feet 
Through all the ways of mom. 
Through all the silver roads of air 
We pass and have no care. 

The silver roads of Love are wide, 
O winds that turn, O stars that guide. 
Sweet are the ways that Love has trod 
Through the clear skies that reach to God. 
But in the cliff-grass Love builds deep 
A place where wandering wings may sleep. 



THE POOL 

COME with me, follow me, swift as a 
moth, 

Ere the wood-doves waken. 
Lift the long leaves and look down, look 

down 

Where the light is shaken, 
Amber and brown, 

On the woven ivory roots of the reed, 
On a floating flower and a weft of weed 
And a feather of froth. 

Here in the night all wonders are, 
Lapped in the lift of the ripple's swing, 
A silver shell and a shaken star, 
And a white moth's wing. 
Here the young moon when the mists un- 
close 
Swims like the bud of a golden rose. 

I would live like an elf where the wild 

grapes cling, 

I would chase the thrush 
From the red rose-berries. 
All the day long I would laugh and swing 
With the black choke-cherries. 



I would shake the bees from the milkweed 

blooms, 

And cool, O cool, 

Night after night I would leap in the pool, 
And sleep with the fish in the roots of the 

rush. 

Clear, O clear my dreams should be]made 
Of emerald light and amber shade, 
Of silver shallows and golden glooms. 
Sweet, O sweet my dreams should be 
As the dark, sweet w^ater enfolding me 
Safe as a blind shell under the sea. 



O SILVER ROSE 

THE dark hour turns so slowty and so 
sweet, 

The last still hour soft-fallen from the stars. 
To-morrow I ma}- kneel and touch ihy feet, 
O Rose of all Shiraz. 

Lay wide thine amorous lattice to the south, 
O Silver Rose, when roses breathe thy name, 
And thou at dawn shalt feel upon thy mouth 
The kiss I dared not claim. 

Discrowned, dishonoured, reft of pride and 

power, 
From the red battle where they hailed me 

lord, 

Silver Rose, O sweet Pomegranate 

Flower, 

1 turn me to their sword. 

Life hath so held me to an empty part, 
Life hath so snared me, bound and made 

me blind. 

To-morrow I may rest upon thy heart, 
For death shall prove more kind. 



26 



THE BRIDEGROOM OF CANA 



1 ' There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. . . . 
And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the 
marriage." 



VEIL thine eyes, O beloved, my spouse, 
Turn them away, 

Lest in their light my life withdrawn 
Dies as a star, as a star in the day, 
As a dream in the dawn. 

Slenderly hang the olive leaves 
Sighing apart ; 

The rose and silver doves in the eaves 
With a murmur of music bind our house. 
Honey and wine in thy words are stored, 
Thy lips are bright as the edge of a sword 
That hath found my heart, 
That hath found my heart. 



27 



Sweet, I have waked from a dream of thee, 
And of Him. 

He who came when the songs were done. 
From the net of thy smiles my heart went 

free 

And the golden lure of thy love grew dim. 
I turned to them asking, "Who is He, 
Royal and sad, who comes to the feast 
And sits Him down in the place of the least?' ' 
And the}^ said, "He is Jesus, the carpenter's 

son." 

^ 
Hear how my harp on a single string 

Murmurs of love. 

Down in the fields the thrushes sing 

And the lark is lost in the light above, 

Lost in the infinite, glowing whole, 

As I in thy soul, 

As I in thy soul. 

Love, I am fain for thy glowing grace 

As the pool for the star, as the rain for the 

rill. 

Turn to me, trust to me, mirror me 
As the star in the pool, as the cloud in the 

sea. 

Love, I looked awhile in His face 
And was still. 



28 



The shaft of the dawn strikes clear and 

sharp : 

Hush, my harp. 

Hush, my harp, for the day is begun, 
And the lifting, shimmering flight of the 

swallow 

Breaks in a curve on the brink of morn, 
Over the sycamores, over the corn, 
Cling to me, cleave to me, prison me 
As the mote in the flame, as the shell in the 

sea, 
For the winds of the dawn say, " Follow, 

follow 
Jesus Bar-Joseph, the carpenter's son." 



29 



A MOTHER IN EGYPT 



"About midnight w ill I go out into the midst 
of Egypt : and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt 
shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth 
upon the throne, even unto the firstborn of the maid- 
servant that is behind the mill.' 1 '' 



IS the noise of grief in the palace over the 
river 

For this silent one at my side ? 
There came a hush in the night, and he rose 

with his hands a-quiver 
Like lotus petals adrift on the swing of the 

tide. 
O small soft hands, the day groweth old for 

sleeping ! 
O small still feet, rise up, for the hour is 

late ! 
Rise up, my son, for I hear them mourning 

and weeping 
In the temple down by the gate. 



Hushed is the face that was wont to brighten 
with laughter 

When I sang at the mill, 

And silence unbroken shall greet the sor- 
rowful dawns hereafter, 

The house shall be still. 

Voice after voice takes up the burden of 
wailing, 

Do you heed, do you hear? in the high- 
priest' s house by the wall ; 

But mine is the grief, and their sorrow is 
all unavailing. 

Will he wake at their call ? 

Something I saw of the broad, dim wings 

half folding 
The passionless brow. 
Something I saw of the sword the shadowy 

hands were holding, 
What matters it now ? 
I held you close, dear face, as I knelt and 

harkened 
To the wind that cried last night like a soul 

in sin, 
When the broad, bright stars dropped down 

and the soft sky darkened, 
And the Presence moved therein. 



I have heard men speak in the market-place 

of the city, 

Low voiced, in a breath, 
Of a god who is stronger than ours, and who 

knows not changing nor pity, 
Whose anger is death. 
Nothing I know of the lords of the outland 

races, 
But Amun is gentle and Hathor the Mother 

is mild, 
And who would descend from the light of 

the peaceful places 
To w r ar on a child ? 

Yet here he lies, with a scarlet pomegranate 

petal 

Blown down on his cheek. 
The slow sun sinks to the sand like a shield 

of some burnished metal, 
But he does not speak. 
I have called, I have sung, but he neither 

will hear nor waken ; 
So lightly, so whitely he lies in the curve of 

my arm, 
Like a feather let fall from the bird that the 

arrow hath taken. 
Who could see him, and harm ? 



' ' The swallow flies home to her sleep in the 

eaves of the altar, 
And the crane to her nest," 
So do we sing o'er the mill, and why, ah, 

why should I falter, 
Since he goes to his rest ? 
Does he play in their flowers as he played 

among these with his mother ? 
Do the gods smile downward and love him 

' and give him their care ? 
Guard him well, O ye gods, till I come ; 

lest the wrath of that Other 
Should reach to him there ! 



33 



ST. YVES' POOR 

JEFFIK was there, and Matthieu, and 
brown Bran, 

Warped in old wars and babbling of the 
sword, 

And Jannedik, a white rose pinched and 
paled 

With the world's frosts, and many more 
beside, 

learned, rheumed and palsied, aged, impo- 
tent 

Of all but hunger and blind lifted hands. 

I set the doors wide at the given hour, 

Took the great baskets piled with bread, 
the fish 

Yet silvered of the sea, the curds of milk, 

And called them, Brethren, brake, and blest, 
and gave. 

For O, my L,ord, the house dove knows her 

nest 

Above my window builded from the rain ; 
In the brown mere the heron finds her 

rest, 
But these shall seek in vain. 



34 



And O, my Lord, the thrush may fold her 

wing, 

The curlew seek the long lift of the seas, 
The wild swan sleep amid his journeying, 
There is no rest for these. 

Thy dead are sheltered ; housed and warmed 

they wait 

Under the golden fern, the falling foam; 
But these, Thy living, wander desolate 
And have not any home. 

I called them, Brethren, brake, and blest, 

and gave. 

Old Jeffik had her withered hand to show, 
Young Jannedik had dreamed of death, and 

Bran 
Would tell me wonders wrought on fields 

of war, 
When Michael and his warriors rode the 

storm, 
And all the heavens were thrilled with 

clanging spears, 
Ah, God, my poor, my poor. Till there 

came one 
Wrapped in foul rags, who caught me by 

the robe, 
And pleaded, " Bread, my father." 



35 



In his hand 

I laid the last loaf of the daily dole, 
Saw on the palm a red wound like a star, 
And bade him, " L,et me bind it." 

' ' These my wounds, ' ' 

He answered softly, "daily dost thou bind." 
And I, ' ' My son, I have not seen thy face. 
But thy bruised feet have trodden on my 

heart. 
I will get water for thee." 

' ' These my hurts, ' ' 

Again he answered, ' 'daily dost thou wash. ' ' 
And I once more, "My son, I know thee 

not, 
But the bleak wind blows bitter from the 

sea, 
And even the gorse is perished. Rest thou 

here." 

And he again, " My rest is in thy heart. 
I take from thee as I have given to thee. 
Dost thou not know Me, Breton ? ' ' 

I, "My Lord!" 



A scent of lilies on the cold sea-wind, 
A thin, white blaze of wings, a face of flame 
Over the gateway, and the vision passed, 
And there were only Matthieu and brown 
Bran, 

36 



And the young girl, the foam-white Janne- 

dik, 
Wondering to see their father rapt from 

them, 
And Jeffik weeping o'er her withered hand. 



37 



THE LITTLE SISTER OF 
THE PROPHET 

"If there arise among you a prophet or dreamer. . ." 

I HAVE left a basket of dates 
In the cool dark room that is under the 

vine, 
Some curds set out in two little crimson 

plates 

And a flask of the amber wine, 
And cakes most cunningly beaten 
Of savoury herbs, and spice, and the delicate 

wheaten 

Flour that is best, 
And all to lighten his spirit and sweeten 

his rest. 

This morning he cried, "Awake, 

And see what the wonderful grace of the 

Lord hath revealed ! ' ' 
And we ran for his sake, 
But 'twas only the dawn outspread o'er our 

father's field, 
And the house of the potter white in the 

valley below. 
But his hands were upraised to the east and 

he cried to us, ' ' So 



Ye may ponder and read 
The strength and the beauty of God out- 
rolled in a fiery screed ! ' ' 

Then the little brown mother smiled, 

As one does on the words of a well-loved 

child, 
And, "Son," she replied, "have the oxen 

been watered and fed ? 
For work is to do, though the skies be never 

so red, 
And already the first sweet hours of the 

day are spent." 
And he sighed, and went. 

Will he come from the byre 

With his head all misty with dreams, and 

his eyes on fire, 
Shaking us all with the weight of the words 

of his passion ? 

I will give him raisins instead of dates, 
And wreathe young leaves on the little red 

plates. 

I will put on my new head-tyre, 
And braid my hair in a comelier fashion. 
Will he note ? Will he mind ? 
Will he touch my cheek as he used to, and 

laugh and be kind ? 



39 



PIETER MARINUS 

LORD, I have known all fruits of this 
thy world ; 

Like Solomon king, I have been fain of 
all, 

War, women, and wine, but mine was 
spirit of Nantes. 

And now, O Lord, I'm old and fain for Thee. 

But, Lord, my soul's so grimed and weather- 
worn, 

So warped and wrung with all iniquities, 

Piracies, brawls, and cheated revenues, 

There's not a saint but would look twice at 
it. 

So, when my time comes, send no angels 
down 

With lutes, and harps, and foreign instru- 
ments, 

To pipe old Pieter's spirit up to heaven 

Past his tall namesake sturdy at his post. 

But let me lie awhile in these Thy seas. 
Let the soft Gulf Stream and the long South 

Drift, 

And the swift tides that rim the Labrador, 
Beat on m) r soul and wash it clean again. 



40 



And when Thy waves have smoothed me of 

my sins, 
White as the sea-mew or the wind-spun 

foam, 

Clean as the clear-cut images of stars 
That swing between the swells, then, then, 

O Lord, 
Lean out, lean out from heaven and call 

me thus, 

"Come up, thou soul of Pieter Marinus," 
And I'll go home. 



THE LAMP OF POOR SOULS 

In many English churches before the Reform- 
ation there was kept a little lamp continually burn- 
ing, called the Lamp of Poor Souls. People were 
reminded thereby to pray for the souls of those dead 
whose kinsfolk were too poor to pay for prayers and 
masses. 

ABOVE my head the shields are stained 
with rust, 
The wind has taken his spoil, the moth his 

part; 
Dust of dead men beneath my knees, and 

dust, 
Lord, in my heart. 

Lay Thou the hand of faith upon my fears ; 
The priest has prayed, the silver bell has 

rung, 

But not for him. O unforgotten tears, 
He was so young ! 

Shine, little lamp, nor let thy light grow 

dim. 
Into what vast, dread dreams, what lonely 

lands, 

Into what griefs hath death delivered him, 
Far from my hands ? 



Cradled is he, with half his prayers forgot. 
I cannot learn the level way he goes. 
He whom the harvest hath remembered not 
Sleeps with the rose. 

Shine, little lamp, fed with sweet oil of 

prayers. 
Shine, little lamp, as God's own eyes may 

shine, 
When He treads softly down His starry 

stairs 
And whispers, "Thou art Mine." 

Shine, little lamp, for love hath fed thy 

gleam. 
Sleep, little soul, by God's own hands set 

free. 
Cling to His arms and sleep, and sleeping, 

dream, 
And dreaming, look for me. 



43 



IN THE GARDENS OF SHUSHAN 

BE pitiful ! Her lips have touched this 
cool 
Clear stream that sets the long green leaves 

astir. 

The very doves that dream beside the pool 
Sang their soft notes to her. 



For her these doors that claim the amorous 
south, 

Bound in red bronze and stayed with cedar- 
wood. 

And here the bees sought honey from her 
mouth, 

So like a flower she stood. 

For her the globed pomegranates grew, and 

all 
Sweet savoury fruits rose perfect from their 

flower. 
Here has her soul known silence and the 

fall 
Of each enchanted hour. 



44 



Under her feet all beauty was laid low, 
In her deep eyes all beauty was made clear. 
When the king called her through the even- 
ing glow, 
" O Vashti, I am here !" 

Still the sweet wells return to me her face, 
Still her lost name on every wind is blown. 
The shadows and the silence of this place 
Are hers alone. 



45 



LALEMANT 



I LI FT the Lord on high, 
Under the murmuring hemlock boughs, 

and see 

The small birds of the forest lingering by 
And making melody. 

These are mine acolytes and these my choir, 
And this mine altar in the cool green shade, 
Where the wild soft-eyed does draw nigh 
Wondering, as in the byre 
Of Bethlehem the oxen heard Thy cry 
And saw Thee, unafraid. 

My boatmen sit apart, 

Wolf-ej r ed, wolf-sinewed, stiller than the 

trees. 

Help me, O Lord, for very slow of heart 
And hard of faith are these. 
Cruel are they, } r et Thy children. Foul are 

they, 

Yet wert Thou born to save them utterly. 
Then make me as I pray, 
Just to their hates, kind to their sorrows, 

wise 
After their speech, and strong before their 

free 
Indomitable eves. 



46 



Do the French lilies reign 

Over Mont Royal and Stadacona still ? 

Up the St. Lawrence comes the spring again, 

Crowning each southward hill 

And blossoming pool with beauty, while I 

roam 
Far from the perilous folds that are my 

home, 
There where we built St. Ignace for our 

needs, 
Shaped the rough roof tree, turned the first 

sweet sod, 

St. Ignace and St. Louis, little beads 
On the rosary of God. 

Pines shall Thy pillars be, 

Fairer than those Sidonian cedars brought 

By Hiram out of Tyre, and each birch-tree 

Shines like a holy thought. 

But come no worshippers ; shall I confess, 

St. Francis-like, the birds of the wilderness? 

O, with Thy love my lonely head uphold. 

A wandering shepherd I, who hath no sheep; 

A wandering soul, who hath no scrip, nor 

gold, 
Nor anywhere to sleep. 



47 



My hour of rest is doue ; 

On the smooth ripple lifts the long canoe ; 

The hemlocks murmur sadly as the sun 

Slants his dim arrows through. 

Whither I go I know not, nor the way, 

Dark with strange passions, vexed with 

heathen charms, 

Holding I know not what of life or death ; 
Only be Thou beside me day by da}-, 
Thy rod my guide and comfort, underneath 
Thy everlasting arms. 



48 



BEGA 

FROM the clouded belfry calling, 
Hear my soft ascending swells ; 
Hear my notes like swallows falling ; 
I am Bega, least of bells. 
When great Turkeful rolls and rings 
All the storm- touched turret swings, 
Echoing battle, loud and long. 
When great Tatwin wakening roars 
To the far-off shining shores, 
All the seamen know his song. 
I am Bega, least of bells : 
In my throat my message swells. 
I with all the winds a-thrill, 
Murmuring softly, murmuring still, 

" God around me, God above me, 
God to guard me, God to love me." 

I am Bega, least of bells, 
Weaving wonder, wind-born spells. 
High above the morning mist, 
Wreathed in rose and amethyst, 
Still the dreams of music float 
Silver from my silver throat, 
Whispering beauty, whispering peace. 
When great Tatwin 's golden voice 
Bids the listening land rejoice, 



49 



When great Turkeful rings and rolls 
Thunder down to trembling souls, 
Then my notes like curlews flying, 
Lifting, falling, sinking, sighing, 
Softly answer, softly cease. 
I with all the airs at play 
Murmuring sweetly, murmuring say, 

" God around me, God above me, 
God to guard me, God to love me. ' ' 



5 



IN A MONASTERY GARDEN 

OVER the long salt ridges 
And the gold sea-poppies between, 
They builded them wild-briar hedges, 
A church and a cloistered green. 
And when they were done with their praises, 
And the tides on the Fore beat slow, 
Under the white cliff-daisies 
They laid them down in a row. 

Porphyry, Paul, and Peter, 
Jasper, and Joachim, 
Was the psaltery music sweeter 
Than the throat of the thrush to him ? 
Tired of their drones and their dirges, 
Where the young cliff -rabbits play, 
Wet with the salt of the surges, 
They laid them down for a day. 

One may not call to the other 

There on the rim of the deep, 

Only the youngest brother 

Lies and smiles in his sleep. 

When the wild swan's shadow passes, 

When the ripe fruit falls to the sod, 

When the faint moth flies in the grasses 

He dreams in the hands of God. 



Here for his hopes there follow 
The violets one by one. 
The dove is here and the swallow 
And the young leaf seeking the sun. 
And here when the last sail darkens 
And the last lone path is trod, 
Under the rose he harkens 
And smiles in the eyes of God. 



A CHILD'S SONG 

WHEN the Child played in Galilee, 
He had no wine-clear maple leave.s, 
No west winds singing of the sea 
Over the frosted sheaves ; 
But with pale myrrh His head was bound 
And crowned. 

When the Child lived in Nazareth, 
He watched the golden anise seed, 
With daisies white in the wind's breath, 
And hyssop flowering for His need, 
While the late crocus from the sod 
Flamed for her God. 

When the Child dwelt in Palestine, 
Over the brooks the willow grew, 
Olive and aspen, oak and pine, 
Sweet sycamore and yew, 
But one dark Tree of all the seven 
Stood high as heaven. 



53 



A CHILD'S SONG OF CHRISTMAS 



M 



Y counterpane is soft as silk, 

My blankets white as creamy milk. 
The hay was soft to Him, I know, 
Our little Lord of long ago. 



Above the roof the pigeons fly 

In silver wheels across the sky. 

The stable-doves they cooed to them, 
Mary and Christ in Bethlehem. 

Bright shines the sun across the drifts, 
And bright upon my Christmas gifts. 

They brought Him incense, myrrh, 
and gold, 

Our little Lord who lived of old. 

O, soft and clear our mother sings 
Of Christmas joys and Christmas things. 
God's holy angels sang to them, 
Mary and Christ in Bethlehem. 

Our hearts they hold all Christmas dear, 
And earth seems sweet and heaven seems 

near. 

O, heaven was in His sight, I know, 
That little Child of long ago. 



54 



YOUTH'S END 

I HAVE held my life too high, 
Spring and harvest, love and laughter, 

smile and sigh. 
I should have held it lightly, like a young 

leaf rent in haste 
From the willow in the waste. 
A moment in my fingers ; then it fluttered, 

then it fled, 
A little flame of red, 
To the God-beholding desert where the 

soundless years go by, 
I have held my life too high. 

I have held my death too dear, 

Shame or honour, peace or peril, pride or 

fear. 
I should have held it softly, as the little 

cloud that flies 

When the heron takes the skies. 
I should have held it kindly as a passing 

whisper, " Friend, 
Here's the end, 
Here the silver cord is loosened and the 

bowl is broken here," 
But I held my death too dear. 



55 



JASPER'S SONG 

WHO goes down through the slim green 
sallows, 
Soon, so soon ? 

Dawn is hard on the heels of the moon, 
But never a lily the day-star knows 
Is white, so white as the one who goes 
Armed and shod, when the hyacinths darken. 
Then hark, O harken ! 
And rouse the moths from the deep rose- 
mallows, 

Call the wild hares down from the fallows, 
Gather the silk of the young sea-poppies, 
The bloom of the thistle , the bells of the foam ; 
Bind them all with a brown owl's feather, 
Snare the winds in a golden tether, 
Chase the clouds from the gipsy's weather, 
and follow, O follow the white spring 
home. 

Who goes past with the wind that chilled us, 
Late, so late ? 

Fortune leans on the farmer's gate, 
Watching the round sun low in the south, 



With a plume in his cap and a rose at his 

mouth. 

But O, for the folk who were free and merry 
There's never so much as a red rose- berry. 
But old earth's warm as the wine that filled 

us, 
And the fox and the little gray mouse shall 

build us 

Walls of the sweet green gloom of the cedar, 
A roof of bracken, a curtain of whin; 
One more rouse ere the bowl reposes 
I,ow in the dust of our lost red roses, 
One more song ere the cold night closes, 

and welcome, O welcome the dark 

death in ! 



57 



THE HILIvMAN'S LASS 

OVER the field where the grass is cool, 
( Follow the road who must ! ) 
With a song for the beech and the brown 

pool, 

And the noiseless tread in the dust, 
With a laugh for the lazy hours that go, 
And the folk who pass us by. 
( The trees they grow so broad, so low, 
They shut me from the sky.) 

Here be strawberries wild and sweet, 

( Follow the road who may ! ) 

And here's a rest for a bairn's feet 

And a kiss at the close o' day. 

And here's a cloud from the shining sea 

I/ike a white moth in the night. 

(On the edge o' the barley field, may be 

The stars would show more bright.) 

Cut me a flute where the reeds are brown. 

( Follow the road who will ! ) 

O, I'll dress you fair in a green gown 

And a cloak that is finer still. 

Your sleeves shall be o' the fairies' lawn, 

Your shoon as red as the rose. 

( Do you think that the wind which wakes 

at dawn 
Will bring us a breath o' the snows ?) 

58 



O, the world's wide, and the world is long. 

( Follow the road who may ! ) 

And here's a lilt of the wild song 

The Romany pipers play. 

And "Mine," it sings, "is the moon's 

shield, 

And the cloak o' the cloud is mine. ' ' 
( Do you think that the lowland clover field 
Is sweet as the upland pine ? ) 



59 



THE SHEPHERD BOY 

WHEN the red moon hangs over the 
fold, 

And the cypress shadow is rimmed with 
gold, 

little sheep, I have laid me low, 
My face against the old earth's face, 
Where one by one the white moths go, 
And the brown bee has his sleeping place. 
And then I have whispered, Mother, hear, 
For the owls are awake and the night is 

near, 

And whether I lay me near or far 
No lip shall kiss me, 
No eye shall miss me, 
Saving the eye of a cold white star. 

And the old brown woman answers mild, 
Rest you sate on my heart, O child. 
Many a shepherd, many a king, 

1 fold them safe from their sorrowing. 
Gwenever's heart is bound with dust, 
Tristram dreams of the dappled doe, 

But the bugle moulders, the blade is rust ; 
Stilled are the trumpets of Jericho, 
And the tired men sleep by the walls of 
Troy. 



60 



Little and lonelj r , 

Knowing me only, 

Shall I not comfort you, shepherd-boy ? 

When the wind wakes in the apple-tree, 
And the shy hare feeds on the wild fern 

stem, 

I say my prayers to the Trinity, 
The prayers that are three and the charms 

that are seven 
To the angels guarding the towers of 

heaven, 

And I lay my head on her raiment's hem, 
Where the young grass darkens the straw- 
berry star, 

Where the iris buds and the bellworts are. 
All night I hear her breath go by 
Under the arch of the empty sky. 
All night her heart beats under my head, 
And I lie as still as the ancient dead, 
Warm as the young lambs there with the 

sheep. 

I and no other, 
Close to my Mother, 
Fold my hands in her hands, and sleep. 



61 



DUNA 

WHEN I was a little lad 
With folly on my lips, 
Fain was I for journeying 
All the seas in ships. 
But now across the southern swell, 
Every dawn I hear 
The little streams of Duna 
Running clear. 

When I was a young man, 
Before my beard was gray, 
All to ships and sailormen 
I gave my heart away. 
But I'm weary of the sea-wind, 
I'm weary of the foam, 
And the little stars of Duna 
Call me home. 



62 



MY FATHER HE WAS A 
FISHERMAN 

MY father he was a fisherman, 
That wrought at the break o' day, 
And hither and thither the long tides ran 
I' the long blue bay. 

" The tides go up and the tides go down, 

But what do you know of the sea ? ' ' 

Her voice, i' the long gray streets o' the 

town, 
Is singing to me. 

" What do you know of the sails at dawn, 
What of the shell- white foam ? " 
Cheerly and sweet, from a world withdrawn, 
They are calling me home. 

' ' What is the grief you fain would tell 
When your eyes are turned on me ? ' ' 
O, well it was taught and I learned it well, 
The grief o' the sea. 

' ' Where do you travel and where do you 

sleep, 

Where shall you take your rest ? ' ' 
At the inn that shelters my father, deep 
I' the seas o' the west. 



JENNIFER'S 



SWEET Jennifer came calling me 
Along the shining beach. 
"There's green upon the hawthorn tree, 
There's bloom upon the peach. 
O, April's found the upland larch, 
The hazel in the hollow," 
But louder was the snare-drum with it's 

" March, march, march !" 
And clearer called the bugle, ' ' Will you 

follow?" 

Young Jennifer came seeking me 

With love upon her lips. 

' ' O, all kind angels keep the sea 

And fortune guard the ships. 

The Autumn winds have rent the larch, 

The south has won the swallow," 

But clearer beat the snare-drum with it's 

" March, march, march ! " 
And sweeter sang the bugle, ' ' Will you 

follow ?' ' 



64 



THREE ISLAND SONGS 

AFTER the wind in the wood, 
Peace, and the night. 
After the bond and the brood, 
Flight. 

After the height and the hush 
Where the wild hawk swings, 
Heart of the earth-loving thrush 
Shaken with wings. 

After the bloom and the leaf 

Rain on the nest. 

After the splendour and grief, 

Rest. 

After the hills and the far 

Glories and gleams, 

Cloud, and the dawn of a star, 

And dreams. 



OTHE gray rocks of the islands and 
f the hemlock green above them, 
The foam beneath the wild rose bloom, the 

star above the shoal. 
When I am old and weary I'll wake my 

heart to love them, 

For the blue ways of the islands are wound 
about my soul. 

65 



Here in the early even when the young gray 

dew is falling, 
And the king-heron seeks his mate beyond 

the loneliest wild, 
Still your heart in the twilight, and you'll 

hear the river calling 
Through all her outmost islands to seek her 

lastborn child. 



I SAT among the green leaves, and heard 
the nuts falling, 
The broad red butterflies were gold against 

the sun, 
But in between the silence and the sweet 

birds calling 
The nuts fell one by one. 

Why should they fall and the year but half 

over? 
Why should sorrow seek me and I so young 

and kind ? 
The leaf is on the bough and the dew is on 

the clover, 
But the green nuts are falling in the wind. 



66 



O, I gave my lips away and all my soul 

behind them. 
Why should trouble follow and the quick 

tears start ? 
The little birds may love and fly with only 

God to mind them, 
But the green nuts are falling on my heart. 



SERENADE 

DARK is the iris meadow, 
Dark is the ivory tower, 
And lightly the young moth's shadow 
Sleeps on the passion-flower. 

Gone are our day's red roses. 
So lovely and lost and few, 
But the first star uncloses 
A silver bud in the blue. 

Night, and a flame in the embers 
Where the seal of the years was set, 
When the almond-bough remembers 
How shall my heart forget ? 



68 



THE LOVERS OF MARCHAID 

DOMINIC came riding down, sworded, 
straight and splendid, 
Drave his hilt against her door, flung a 

golden chain. 
Said : "I'll teach your lips a song sweet as 

his that's ended, 

Ere the white rose call the bee, the almond 
flower again." 

But he only saw her head bent within the 
gloom 

Over heaps of bridal thread bright as apple- 
bloom, 

Silver silk like rain that spread across the 
driving loom. 

Dreaming Fanch, the cobbler's son, took his 

tools and laces, 
Wrought her shoes of scarlet dye, shoes as 

pale as snow ; 
' ' They shall lead her wildrose feet all the 

fairy paces 
Danced along the road of love, the road such 

feet should go " 

But he only saw her eyes turning from his 
gift 

69 



Out towards the silver skies where the white 

clouds drift, 
Where the wild gerfalcon flies, where the 

last sails lift. 

Bran has built his homestead high where the 

hills may shield her, 
Where the young bird waits the spring, 

where the dawns are fair, 
Said : "I'll name my trees for her, since I 

may not yield her 
Stars of morning for her feet, of evening 

for her hair. ' ' 

But he did not see them ride, seven dim sail 

and more, 
All along the harbour-side, white from shore 

to shore, 
Nor heard the voices of the tide crying at 

her door. 

Jean- Marie has touched his pipe down 

beside the river 
When the young fox bends the fern, when 

the folds are still, 
Said : ' ' I send her all the gifts that my love 

may give her, 
Golden notes like golden birds to seek her 

at my will." 



70 



But he only found the waves, heard the sea- 
gull's cry, 

In and out the ocean caves, underneath the 
sky, 

All above the wind-washed graves where 
dead seamen lie. 



THE HOUSE'S SETTING 

II ERE is no hedge of yewe to hold in 
* * grief e, 

No cypresse nor long willow for despaire. 
But the young birch displayes his cheerf ulle 

leaf 
In tracerie most faire. 

Where the sunne falls at morn stand poplars 

seven 
Where freely I of all sweete joyes may 

borrowe, 
An elm that lifts his prayerfulle arms to 

Heaven, 
And three tall pines for sorrowe. 



72 



DEUS MISEREATUR 

PLEASANT the ways whereon our feet 
were led, 

Sweet the young hills, the valleys of content, 
But now the hours of dew and dream have 

fled. 
Lord, we are spent. 

We did not heed Thy warning in the skies, 
We have not heard Thy voice nor known 

Thy fold ; 

But now the world is darkening to our eyes. 
Lord, we grow old. 

Now the sweet stream turns bitter with our 

tears, 

Now dies the star we followed in the west, 
Now are we sad and ill at ease with years. 
Lord, we would rest. 

Lo, our proud lamps are emptied of their 

light, 

Weary our hands to toil, our feet to roam ; 
Our day is past and swiftly falls Thy night. 
Lord, lead us home. 



73 



FAME 

HAVE I played fellowship with night, 
to see 

The allied armies break our gates at dawn 
And let our general in ? By Bacchus, no ! 
I have not left my stall, sir, I'm too poor 
For lazy prentices to hand my wares, 
Such delicate chains, like amber linked with 

love ! 
Such silvered pins, like hate to let love 

out ! 

What know I ? But my Guidarello went 
To the fountain of the coppersmiths, when 

first 

The double cypress showed upon the east. 
He's home, poor fool, hoarse as a moulting 

bird 
From loud throat-loyalty. 

' ' The banners burn 

Still in my soul," he cries, "as then in air. 
The gray air, the gray houses, and the 

flowers, 
The flowers, my father ! Thyme and twisted 

sweets 
From the blue hills I dream of, and thin 

bells 
Of faery folds : pomegranates spun in^flame, 



74 



Flame of red rose and golden, flame of sound 
Blown from hot-throated trumpets, and the 

flame 
Of her proud eyes ! 

She rode beside the duke 
In velvet coloured as a pansy is 
And threaded round with gold. Her mantle 

strained 

On the warm wind behind her, golden too, 
Gold as the spires of lilies, and her hair 
And her dark eyes were danced across with 

gold." 

Gold, gold, poor fool, and she was 

bought for gold, 

A golden grief to ride at a duke's rein. 
Eh well ! The great grow love-in-idleness 
About their courts. Did Guidarello see 
Our general too ? "A little, tired old man, 
Clad in worn sables with a silver star," 
He told me, ' ' fain to find his house and 

sleep. ' ' 



75 



KWANNON 

Kwannon, the Japanese goddess of mercy, is 
represented with many hands, typifying generosity 
and kindness. In one of these hands she is supposed 
to hold an ax, wherewith she severs the threads of 
human lives. 

I AM the ancient one, the many-handed, 
The merciful am I. 
Here where the black pine bends above the 

sea 

They bring their gifts to me 
Spoil of the foreshore where the corals lie, 
Fishes of ivory, and amber stranded, 
And carven beads 
Green as the fretted fringes of the weeds. 

Age after age, I watch the long sails pass. 
Age after age, I see them come once more 
Home, as the gray-winged pigeon to the 

grass, 

The white crane to the shore. 
Goddess am I of heaven and this small town 
Above the beaches brown. 
And here the children bring me cakes, and 

flowers, 
And all the strange sea-treasures that they 

find, 



76 



For "She," they say, "the Merciful, is 

ours, 
And she," they say, "is kind." 

Camphor and wave-worn sandalwood for 

burning 

They bring to me alone, 
Shells that are veined like irises, and those 
Curved like the clear bright petals of a rose. 
Wherefore an hundredfold again returning 
I render them their own 

Full -freighted nets that flash among the 

foam, 

I/aughter and love, and gentle eyes at home, 
Cool of the night, and the soft air that swells 
My silver temple bells. 
Winds of the spring, the little flowers that 

shine 
Where the young barley slopes to meet the 

pine, 

Gold of the charlock, guerdon of the rain, 
I give to them again. 

Yet though the fishing boats return full- 
laden 

Out of the broad blue east, 

Under the brown roofs pain is their hand- 
maiden, 



77 



And mourning is their feast. 

Yea, though my many hands are raised to 

bless, 
I am not strong to give them happiness. 

Sorrow comes swiftly as the swallow flying, 
O, little lives, that are so quickly done ! 
Peace is my raiment, mercy is my breath, 
I am the gentle one. 

When they are tired of sorrow and of sighing 
I give them death. 



MONS ANGELORUM 

MOSES, JOSHUA, THE THREE ANGELS 
OF THE UNIVERSE 

Evening : a slope of Pisgah 

Moses Our span of life is lessening with 

the years, 

Our little sun rolls swiftlier to its end 
Among the eternal stars. It is a feather 
Blown from a careless lip into the dark, 
A fallen feather, the lily of a day, 
Brimming with blood and tears instead 

of dew, 
And dying with its sleep. Having 

known life, 
Having known day, I pass into the 

night ; 
Having long spoken with God, I hold 

my peace ; 
Having long held the sword, I lay it 

down, 
And the new watch relieves me. Is all 

well? 
Joshua O father of my soul, I cannot 

tell. 
The burden of the Lord is heavy on me, 



79 



And I am broken beneath it. 
Moses Since I knew, 

All my desires and cares have gone from 

me. 

Rather I think on old forgotten things 
A song within the temple-court, to her, 
Isis, the L,ady of Love. How white she 

sat 

Above the crowded gate ! I was a boy : 
I ran and laid a lotus on her knees, 
Dreaming she smiled in answer. Ah, 

those dreams 

Far on the shining level of the sands, 
Thebes and old Tan is builded of a cloud ! 
The reeds beside the river, those sweet 

trees 

Full of warm buds that ripen and un- 
close 

At eve ; the barges passing on the Nile 
Like golden water-fowl with ivory 

wings ; 
The gardens and the great pomegranate 

flowers, 
And she, my gentle mother in Mizraim, 

Calling me, " Mesu, Mesu." 
Joshua I cannot think. 

My sorrow stays me and my grief pre- 
vents. 



80 



Yet there are heathen foes and wars to 
come. 

I take thy sword. I cannot take thy 
soul, 

Master of Law, unshaken friend of God, 

But I can fight for Israel. 
Moses Fight, and stand 

Firmly for God. Jehovah is salvation. 

And now, beloved son in all but blood, 

Go, get you down again. 
Joshua A little longer, 

Leave me a little longer with you, lord ! 
Moses No longer, for the gates of life are 
lonely. 

Out of the dark man cometh to his life, 

Into the dark he goeth. 

Down, look down, 

Down to the clustered tents, each with 
its lives 

Of foolish children, vexed with many 
fears, 

Agonies, hopes, beliefs inherited, 

Dark hates, fond dreams, divine humil- 
ities. 

Shall they go leaderless from stream to 
stream, 

Following the far-flung visions of des- 
pair, 



81 



These that have been my sheep ? 
Joshua I cannot, father. 

I am a man of war and not of wisdom. 
They will not know my voice nor follow 

me. 
Moses Man, is it thy faint voice shall be 

uplifted, 
To soothe the fearful and uphold the 

strong. 

To lead the unshaken tribes to victory 
Against the men of Amalek and Ai, 
Lords of the plain and coast ? Is it thy 

strength ? 
Nay, but Jehovah's in thee. As the 

cloud 

Filling the empty valley of the hills, 
As the white flood along the water- 
courses 
That once were barren, so His strength 

will pass 

Into the pits and runnels of thy soul. 
Fight, for the L,ord is with thee. Stand 

thou firm. 
Joshua L,o, I would rather stay and die 

with thee 
Than pass with shining banners and 

with song 



82 



Of silver shawms and trumpets, in thy 

place 

Over the river Jordan. 

Moses Nay, I pass 

Over a deeper river, with no songs, , 
No mighty trumpetings, no pride of 

banners. 
Toil have I borne but triumph is not 

mine. 
Once, once mine eyes shall see the 

Promised Land, 
Her forts and towers, cities and pleasant 

fields, 
Her palms and cedars, vines and olive 

trees, 
And then be darkened. Here's my 

heritage, 
Here by these mighty chasms, these 

Godward peaks, 

My last resort, my lone abiding place. 
See, the night comes. How is it with 

thee, son ? 
Joshua A cloud has drawn between us and 

the plain, 
A darkness moves between us and the 

sky, 

Full of vague voices, mighty whisper- 
ings, 



Wings, and the sound of them. 

O, never man 
Has breathed such chilling air as this 

which blows 
Out of the dark. O, never man has 

heard 
Such sounds as these which beat upon 

my soul, 
Known, yet unknown ; familiar, yet 

most dread ! 
Lord, must I go ? 

Moses This is the wind of death, 

And this the cold that lies without the 

world, 
And these the sounds that thrill the 

untrodden void 
Beyond the lonelier stars. Go down, 

go down 
To darkuened Israel mourning in his 

tents. 
I can no longer see thee. Stand thou 

firm. 
(Joshua goes ; the cloud surrounds Moses. ) 

O ye celestial presences, great shapes 
With terrible fair faces, towering 

wings, 
Wings with the wine-deep glow of 

amethyst, 

84 



Sheath over sheath like folded water- 
buds 
Lit with an inward flame ; wings pale 

as foam, 
Faint plumes showered with silver ; 

wings serene 

Uplifted in a radiant arc of dawn, 
Unchain the prisoned pinions of this 

soul, 
Say to the blind bird, Fly. Bid life 

recede, 
A bubble before the advancing wave 

of death. 
From my youth upward I have spoken 

of death, 
Nor knew the word so sweet. There's 

music in it, 
Music to break the heart. O, heavenly 

guards, 

Looking so long in your immortal eyes 
I am grown old. Death calls me as a 

sleep, 
A rest desired, a rich forgetfulness, 

After too much of life. 

Angel of Darkness Life is no more. 

A little flame soon swallowed in the 

night, 



A harp that hath no voice, a bow un- 
strung. 

Pride of the grass and power of the reed, 
Life is as swift in breaking. Peace be 

on thee ; 
Mine are the wings of peace. Men call 

me death, 

But so God hath not named me. 
Angel of Light Life is past, 

Thy ground is taken, thy tent is pitched 

forever. 
Drink of these wells and be forsworn of 

sorrow, 
Forsaken of weeping. Men have called 

me death, 

Yet am I less and greater. 
Angel of Dreams Peace be on thee, 

Peace and good rest. Mine are the 

wings of silence 

Folded in silver sleep before my face ; 
This in my hand is golden fruit of Eden, 
Whose scent is sleep ; its flame-white 

flower grew 
Along the glades where Adam walked 

with God. 
Death have men called me, yet I am 

not death. 
Take thy last look on life. 



86 



Moses O, Land of Promise. 

From the great plains of Moab to the 

sea, 
Thy blossoming orchards, streams, and 

palaces 
Like golden beads threaded on silver 

strings, 
Thy towering walls and pinnacles of 

pride, 

A fruitful field it is, ripe for the harvest, 
The harvest of the sword. 

I shall not reap it, 
The winepress of His wrath I shall not 

tread. 

Plighted am I to silence ; I go down, 
Dead, to the dead, and am no more 

remembered 
Upon the lips of men. 

Those sceptred kings, 
The solemn dead of old Mizraim, who 

sit 

Forever in the sun beside their tombs, 
With blank eyes smiling on eternity, 
Crowned with the reed and lotus, do 

they live 
More than their grass and lilies? Those 

I knew, 



Princes and scribes, lords of the desert, 

priests 
Learned above the wit of common 

minds, 
Captains and merchants, rulers over 

gold, 

Feathers and spices, emeralds, ivories, 
Brought to the feet of Pharaoh : what 

of them ? 
What of the King, Lord of the North 

and South, 

Son of the Sun, like to the Sun forever? 
A sun? A darkened light, a star o'er- 

whelmed, 
When his fierce horsemen sank beneath 

that surge 
Whose crest was blood and terror, 

when there died 
On one hushed night, all the firstborn 

of Egypt. 

O night divine, I set thine excellence 
Above the twice-crowned noon. Here 

is no star, 
No slenderest crescent poised above the 

world, 
No lingering love of day. But the soft 

dark 
Folds inward as a flower, enfolding me, 



88 



My length of little days, wisdom and 



Light as a drop of rain. 
Angel of Dreams Tender is night, 

But tenderer far the limits of this death, 
This dream-encompassed city. Here 

no sound 
Shall wake thee, from thy sleep no 

storm disturb, 
Though here all storms are born. 

Tempest and cloud, 
Thunder and hail, the mightiest airs of 

God, 
The hosts of night, the hot triumphant 

dawn, 
Seasons, and times, and days, unknown 

shall march 

O'er thy surrendered head. 
Moses O loneliest rest ! 

On my lost grave only the winds shall 

mourn, 
The white rain do me service, the sad 

stars 

Age after age with endless circling eyes 
View this last desolation. In thy 

hands, 
Into thy hands, O death. Break the 

worn thread 



That binds the rifted pattern of the 
loom. 

O King of kings, forsake not now Thy 

servant. 

Angel of Darkness L,o, the black crags leap 
to the vaulted cloud, 

Towering without a sound. The dark 
takes substance 

In domes and depths of mightiest design 

And seals him from the world. Pil- 
lared like Thebes, 

Straight as the tall palm-orchard lift the 
walls 

Of this vast grave. L,ife has no mean- 
ing here, 

Light has no name nor place. O human 
heart, 

Fain for the little shows of grief, for 
tears 

And kindlier sepulchre, no king shall 
sleep 

So royally housed as thou. 
Moses Draw near, draw near. 

The string is all but parted. Shape thy 
wings 

Into a roof of silver silences, 

A dome of deep repose. O murmuring 
flood, 



90 



O tide of death lifting the weed of life, 
O passive arbiter, indifferent power 
In whose still hand the kingdoms of the 

world 
lyie like a beggar's coin, beneath whose 

heel 
Nations are drifted dust, accept thou 

me. 

The bubble of life is broken. 
Angel of Light L,ife begins. 

Cover his face, kind Darkness, with 

thy wings 
Smooth as the wild swan's breast. L,et 

no wind wake 

An echo in this holy solitude. 
L,et the enduring seasons with soft tread 
Circle these sacred hills ; no falling star 
Shiver the fine perfection of repose. 
God hath his life. Guard Thou his 

mighty dust. 
Angel of Darkness I am the firstborn angel. 

Ere this world 

Was shapen, I endured within the void 
Waiting the word of God. Beyond this 

world 
I shall endure, when the young stars 

are driven 



Outworn in dust along the roads of 

space, 
Blown by the breath of chaos. When 

this plan, 
This present firmament, vision and 

light, 
Princes of heaven, dominions, powers, 

are past, 

I shall remain about the eternal throne 
Veiling the thoughts of God. lyeave 

him with me, 
Ye younger spirits ; such silence is too 

old 
For your bright souls to bear. Leave 

me my dead. 

( The angels of Light and Dreams take flight. 
The angel of Darkness covers Moses with 

his wings. ) 
The dead are mine. Swift they come 

down to me. 
The little life they suffer, their frail 

dream 
Is past. Here is no memory, here no 

hope, 

No reason, no despair nor happiness. 
Only the dust and I. It is His will. 
Voices of Israel Who now shall stand be- 
tween us and our God ? 

92 



A SAXON EPITAPH 

7 ~he earth builds on the earth 
Castles and towers ; 
The earth saith of the earth : 
All shall be oiirs. 

Yea, though they plant and reap 
The rye and the corn, 
Lo, they were bond to Sleep 
Ere they were born. 

Yea, though the blind earth sows 
For the fruit and the sheaf, 
They shall harvest the leaf of the 

rose 
And the dust of the leaf. 

* Pride of the sword and power 
Are theirs at their need 
Who shall rule but the root of the 

flower 
The fall of the seed. 

They who follow the flesh 

In splendour and tears, 

They shall rest and clothe them 

afresh 
In the fulness of years. 



From the dream of the dust they 

came 

As the dawn set free. 
They shall pass as the flower of the 

flame 
Or the foam of the sea. 

The earth builds on Hie earth 
Cities and towers. 
The earth saith of the earth : 
All shall be ours. 




94 



The Consolidated Press, Montreal 



PS 
3531 
I35D75 
cop. 2 



Pickthall, Marjorie Lovry 
Christie 

The drift of pinions 



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